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Full text of "A history of Persia"

28                  HISTORY OF PERSIA
Moslems lost 1200 men, among whom were thirty-nine
warriors bearing the honoured title of Astwb wr "Com-
panions " of the Prophet This was the crowning victory,
and a few months later, within a year of Mohamed's
death, peace reigned once again in Arabia, every district
of which had been visited by the irresistible columns of
Abu Bekr.
The Battle on the Ttrmuk^ A,H. 13 (634).—In Chap-
ter XLIII. I have confined myself to the campaigns waged
against Iran; it will be appropriate here to give a brief
account of the wonderful exploits of Islam in other fields.
It must be borne in mind that almost our sole authority
for these is Arab tradition. But although in details this
is naturally partial and one-sided, there is little or no
doubt as to the main facts*
The victories of Abu Bekr left the Arab tribes
defeated and sullen ; but the call to war and plunder
welded them together and, as success followed success,
tribe after tribe not only sent out its fighting men,
but marched in its entirety to settle in more fertile lands.
The strategy of the Caliph in attacking the Roman
and Persian Empires simultaneously must have seemed to
be midsummer madness, and, judged by all ordinary
canons, so it was. But in the end the madmen won,
although they were compelled from time to time to neglect
one field of operations in order to ensure success in
another.
In A.H. 12 (633) Khalid started on his victorious
career against the Persian Empire, and in the same year a
second Khalid, son of Said, was despatched with instruc-
tions to organize the friendly tribes on the Syrian frontier,
but to avoid fighting unless attacked. Having in A.H. 13
(634) incautiously pushed northwards towards Damascus,
he found his communications cut near the Sea of Tiberias,
and thereupon fled panic-stricken, leaving his camp to the
enemy. The retreating Arabs were rallied by Ikrima,
who had already distinguished himself in the Hadramaut,
and Abu Bekr sent such large reinforcements that the
army of Syria became the main army of Islam, as compared
with the weak force entrusted to Khalid, We read that